International Family Planning Conference Scheduled, Population Nears 7 Billion
In anticipation of the world's population reaching 7 billion at the end of this month, approximately 2,000 policymakers and advocates will gather for the International Conference on Family Planning from November 29 to December 2 in Dakar, Senegal. The conference - sponsored by over 30 international organizations, including UNFPA, USAID, WHO, European Commission, World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - seeks to gather experts and activists to address the unmet need for family planning. According to the Nigerian Tribune, "Worldwide 215 million women have an unmet need for family planning."
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin stated, "A world of seven billion people is a distinctive moment in history. It represents an achievement, as well as an unprecedented challenge for the future of the planet and its inhabitants. It also presents a rare opportunity for a call-to-action to renew global commitment for a healthy and sustainable world."
Since 1950, the world's population has grown from 2.5 billion people to 7 billion, and since 1987, when the first World Population Day took place, the world's population has grown by approximately 40 percent. According to UNFPA, "all of this population growth - 97 of every 100 people - is occurring in less developed countries."
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .